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India and the United Kingdom (UK) have come together to launch a clean air street initiative at Church Street here on Saturday to jointly address the global challenges of air pollution and climate change.
The initiative launched by the UK Catapult Network and the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT), Karnataka, will help transform Church Street in Bengaluru into a green haven for pedestrians by banning traffic movement every weekend from this week onwards for the next three months.
“This is done in an effort to demonstrate innovative ways of combating air pollution,” DULT Commissioner V. Manjula said and added that this was an opportunity to prove that targeted activities to reduce motor vehicle traffic can help reduce pollution, improve the quality of life and be beneficial to local businesses.
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She said that the clean air street initiative is a part of the wider Innovating for Clean Air (ICA) program that is being rolled out in phases across Bengaluru.
Businesses especially restaurants on this street will be allowed to extend their seating outdoors temporarily, in line with social distancing norms, thereby encouraging patrons to stay safe whilst enjoying cleaner air.
Church Street will remain closed to motor vehicles between 12 p.m. on Saturday and 12 a.m. on Sunday from November 7, 2020, to February 2021.
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“The initiative is aimed at reprioritizing clean mobility and highlighting the benefits it brings. The project will also serve as a showcase for innovative UK and Indian solutions to tackle climate change,” UK Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord Tariq Ahmad said in his video message.
He added that the launch of the clean air street initiative is an example of India’s forward movement on climate action and to show what both countries can do when like-minded nations work together.
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He said that the UK, as the COP 26 President, is committed to join forces with all countries, with civil society, business, and with individuals, to inspire action ahead of the conference in November 2021.
“We owe it to our children to use this tough year to pause, reflect and build back better,” he added.
British Deputy High Commissioner Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford said that the launch of the Clean Air Street initiative in Bengaluru could not have come at a more important time.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: फेसबुक ने किया हज़ारों जाली अकॉउंटस का सफाया
“The Covid lockdowns here and across the globe made us all appreciate the importance and beauty of clean air and skies. The next year is a crucial year for our climate with the UK hosting COP 26 in November 2021. I am confident that UK-Karnataka collaboration on climate action can deliver substantial progress towards reducing emissions and helping to build back better and greener,” he said.
According to the statement the Indian Institute of Science – one of the partners in this initiative – will be carrying out research to gauge the impact on the quality of life for local residents as well as the economic impact on businesses.
Two of the UK’s leading technology centers — Energy Systems Catapult and Connected Places Catapult that forms part of the Catapult Network — will work with partners to measure the difference in air quality after the intervention and also work with electric vehicle innovators to increase citizen awareness and evaluate their experiences through test rides, the statement read. (IANS)
The Centre will launch a pilot project on the use of indigenously manufactured drones for delivering medicines in the undulating landscape of Jammu and surrounding areas from Saturday with a focus on vaccines delivery initially. "This is going to be a pilot project for the area. The drone is developed and manufactured entirely by our scientists," Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh told mediapersons. Singh said he himself will be launching the project at Jammu.
The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a constituent of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an autonomous Society that is headed by the Prime Minister. For now, the delivery would be limited to Covid vaccines and once successful, it would be expanded to be used for regular delivery of medicines in the remote, hilly areas.
The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL). | Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash
Jammu and surrounding areas are sensitive in terms of the strategic importance. Some months ago, there was an attack on an Army installation using drones. Will the 'drones for vaccines' be permitted in such a case? Allaying fears, a top official from the Ministry of S&T said, "The drones would be deployed by authorised agencies such as hospitals, not anybody can use it, nor would any random person be permitted to use it."
NAL has called the drone as 'Octacopter' and it can fly at an operational altitude of 500 m AGL and at maximum flying speed of 36 kmph. It can be used for a variety of BVLOS applications for last mile delivery like medicines, vaccines, food, postal packets, Human organs (such as heart for heart transplantation) etc. NAL Octacopter is integrated with a powerful on-board embedded computer and latest generation sensors for versatile applications like agricultural pesticide spraying, crop monitoring, mining survey, magnetic geo survey mapping etc., S&T officials had said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Jammu, Vaccines, Medicines, Deliver, Drones, Centre
Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan shares how he feels when people compare him with his father Amitabh Bachchan on the singing reality show 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa'. He also requests contestant Rajshree Bag to sing a track 'Bahon Mein Chale Aao' featuring his mother Jaya Bachchan.
Abhishek said after looking at the performance of Rajshree, who is often compared with Lata Mangeshkar on the show, that she reminds him of being compared with his father. "Rajshree, whenever I have got the chance to watch the show, I've seen people compare you to Lata didi. It actually reminded me about how people compare me with my father and ask me how I feel about it."
According to him Amitabh Bachchan is a great actor in the industry and this is what he says to everyone making these comparisons. "My answer to them is that there's no greater actor in this film industry than Amitabh Bachchan and if I'm being compared to him, I am sure I must have done something good."
"Similarly, your voice has a different kind of magic like Lata ji and that's why people are comparing your voice with her. I feel you should always take this as a compliment," he concluded. 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' airs on Saturday and Sunday on Zee TV. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Abhishek Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Rajshree Bag
Winters in India have always beckoned for that hot, steaming bowl of tomato and pepper rasam or the mellow, millet based Raab. Certain dishes like sarson ka saag, undhiyu, nimona pulao are winter specialites in the country. Seasonal food has always been an Indian speciality -- we switch our choice in fruits, vegetables, sometimes even grains with the onset of different season. The preference of using specific ingredients during certain climates is visible in our sweets as well. It's common to find local and traditional delicacies made of jaggery, instead of sugar during the winters. Case in point -- the Nolen Gur Rasgulla, a speciality made in Odisha and West Bengal between November to February.
Celebrity chef, Sanjeev Kapoor, strongly advocates this need of eating seasonal produce. He says, "The beauty of our food is in our seasonal usage of fruits and vegetables. If you realise, Gajar ka halwa is made aplenty during winters as this is the season when beautiful red carrots hit the market or mango pickle is made during summer, thanks to its availability. Despite people and sometimes, even me, suggesting that we should eat fresh as well as seasonal fruits and vegetables, we do not know what chemicals are sprayed on them to keep them safe while they are growing. When this produce hits the market, there isn't a certifying agency like the FSSAI that will help people understand what vegetables and fruits are free of pesticides and germs and which ones don't. Hence, the onus lies on us to make them safe for consumption. ITC's Nimwash is a good solution."
When it comes to winters, the Chef recommends eating these fruit and vegetables:
* Purple Mogri -- Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country. But you can spot them during the winters in local markets in northern India where women pick them up to make raitas, curries and stir fries. Rich in magnesium, calcium and copper, the vegetable is known to aid people from digestive problems.
Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country, but you can spot them during the winters | Pixabay
* Sweet Potato -- A re-discovered favourite, Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. With its diverse addition in burgers, chips and even chat, the root vegetable is filled with nutrients such as fibres and vitamins.
Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. | Wikimedia Commons
* Avarekalu -- Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. Bangalore is famed for its Averakalu mela during the winter months, where you can find these beans in dosas, Pani puri and even Jalebis! Thronged by crowds from all over the city, the food fest is a gourmand's delight.
Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. | Wikimedia Commons
* Amla -- The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. High in Vitamin C, it is known to be immunity building and extremely beneficial for the skin and hair. There are multiple ways to eat Amla -- it is pickled, made into a fruit preserve called as Murraba or even eaten by sprinkling salt over it.
The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. | Pixabay
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: winter, Sanjeev Kapoor, chef, Indian gooseberry, Sweet Potato, Radish pods